An unidentified Belgian class 28 locomotive prior to conversion; location and date unknown. Source: www.commons.wikimedia.org.
No. 1638 of Belgian state railways (Tubize 549/1883), originally classed 28, rebuilt and re-classed 2bis. Source: compilation by Ir.J. Vandenberghen via Lawrence Van Haecke (many thanks!).
Side drawing of class 2bis; source: as above.
Among various locomotives left in Poland by retreating Germans in 1918 were two class 2bis passenger engines from Belgian state railways (Belgische Staatsspoorwegen / Chemins de fer de l'État Belge), captured in 1914, namely No. 1531 (Franco-Belge 403/1882) and No. 1640 (Tubize 551/1883). Locomotives of this type were initially assigned to German military railway authority in Brussels and classed P01. Their origin may be traced back to classes 28 (built since 1865, with 1450 mm drivers) and 2 (its modification introduced in 1875, with 1700 mm drivers), delivered by eight locomotive manufacturers. These engines, with 0-3-0 axle arrangement, were found too strong for light passenger trains and their running qualities probably left something to be desired. Some were thus converted to the 1-2-0 axle arrangement, with 1700 mm drivers and 1450 mm front idlers. First conversion was completed in 1882 and thirty more examples followed; all were classed 2bis. This type featured Belpaire-type firebox, outer frame and Allan valve gear. There were minor differences between individual examples, depending on the manufacturer.
Two locomotives taken over by PKP in 1918 were initially classed P3Bg, where P3 referred to Prussian class with similar characteristics and ‘Bg’ denoted Belgian origin. Both retained their Belgian service numbers and were assigned to Warsaw regional management. According to some sources, class designation Pc101 was envisaged for them within the framework of new designation system. As pointed out in LP, this seems rather doubtful, as a locomotive with 1700 mm drivers and maximum speed of a mere 75 km/h would be regarded a passenger one. Generally express engines had 1850 mm drivers, or larger. No alternative can, however, be proposed (Oc101 might seem likely). A confusion with class Pe101 (ex-Belgian class 12, acquired in the same circumstances) cannot be excluded. Be it as it was, any class assignment could be only formal, as both these locomotives disappeared from the company’s rosters before 1927.
Main technical data
- Only those converted to the 1-2-0 axle arrangement (class 2bis).
References and acknowledgments
- Charakterystyka parowozów (Steam Locomotive Characteristics), issued by PKP Warsaw Regional Management, 1920;
- Lawrence Van Haecke (private communication);
- many thanks to Ms. Walentyna Chomańska for translation.